Band Gap Modulation in Zirconium-Based Metal-Organic Frameworks by Defect Engineering

We report a defect-engineering approach to modulate the band gap of zirconium-based metal-organic framework UiO-66, enabled by grafting of a range of amino-functionalised benzoic acids at defective sites. Defect engineered MOFs were obtained by both post-synthetic exchange and modulated synthesis, featuring band gap in the 4.1-3.3 eV range. Ab-initio calculations suggest that shrinking of the band gap is mainly due to an upward shift of the valence band energy, as a result of the presence of light-absorbing monocarboxylates. The photocatalytic properties of defect-engineered MOFs towards CO<sub>2</sub> reduction to CO in the gas phase and degradation of Rhodamine B in water were tested, observing improved activity in both cases, in comparison to a defective UiO-66 bearing formic acid as the defect-compensating species.